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Category Archives: E-Commerce

Court of Appeals opinion – Google is not a generic name

Elliott v. Google, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, No. 15-15809 D.C. No. 2:12-cv-01072-SMM – OPINION, May 16, 2017.

“The panel affirmed the district court’s summary judgment in favor of Google, Inc., in an action under the Lanham Act, seeking cancellation of the GOOGLE trademark on the ground that it is generic. The panel held that a claim of genericness or “genericide,” where the public appropriates a trademark and uses it as a generic name for particular types of goods or services irrespective of its source, must be made with regard to a particular type of good or service. The district court thus correctly focused on internet search engines rather than the “act” of searching the internet. The panel also held that verb use of the word “google” to mean “search the internet,” as opposed to adjective use, did not automatically constitute generic use. The panel affirmed the district court’s conclusion that the plaintiffs’ evidence was insufficient to establish that the primary significance of the word “google” to the relevant public was as a generic name for internet search engines, rather than as a mark identifying the Google search engine in particular.The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in Elliott v Google, 12-cv-01072 answered in their May 16, 2017 opinion that “Google” has not yet become generic and that Alphabet still controls the name. Some products are in process of becoming genericide, like Xerox or scotch tape; while others have completed the transition, like videotape, aspirin, linoleum, or mimeograph In the area of legal research, terms such as shepardize and blue book have been under attack as they are often referred as the generic process of checking on the validity of a citation or making sure a citation is in proper form. The court held that the key question is whether google has become for the consumer a generic name for online searching. They conclude that the District Court correctly rejected the theory that the verb use automatically constitutes generic use and identified the terms “discriminate verb” and “indiscriminate verb”. Therefore “an internet user might use the verb “google” in an indiscriminate sense, with no particular search engine in mind; or in a discriminate sense, with the Google search engine in mind.” The court recognized that a “majority of the public uses the verb ‘google’ in a generic sense”, but that does not mean that we have to determine that this is a case of genericide.”

Purchases on Google Now Available for Beta Request

Anthony Capetola on May 16, 2017 – Sales and Orders Blog: “This is new and we only just noticed it in Merchant Center. It seems as though Google quietly rolled out the Beta for Purchases on Google. Access to the request form can be found in Merchant Center Programs in your Merchant Center account. Additionally,… Continue Reading

GAO – Internet of Things: Status and implications of an increasingly connected world

Technology Assessment: Internet of Things: Status and implications of an increasingly connected world, GAO-17-75: Published: May 15, 2017. Publicly Released: May 15, 2017. “The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the technologies and devices that sense information and communicate it to the Internet or other networks and, in some cases, act on that information. These… Continue Reading

FAA Publishes First Set of UAS Facility Maps

“The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) today published more than 200 facility maps to streamline the commercial drone authorization process. The maps depict areas and altitudes near airports where UAS may operate safely. But drone operators still need FAA authorization to fly in those areas. This marks a key first step as the FAA and industry… Continue Reading

Paper – Using Facebook Ads Audiences for Global Lifestyle Disease Surveillance: Promises and Limitations

Using Facebook Ads Audiences for Global Lifestyle Disease Surveillance: Promises and Limitations – “Every day, millions of users reveal their interests on Facebook, which are then monetized via targeted advertisement marketing campaigns. In this paper, we explore the use of demographically rich Facebook Ads audience estimates for tracking non-communicable diseases around the world. Across 47… Continue Reading

Legal Issues: IP Asset Valuation and IRS Scrutiny

“The structure of a large corporation can often be a very complex conflagration of parent corporations, divisions, subsidiary corporations, sister corporations, holding companies, merged entities, corporate spin-offs and the like. Tracking down all of the related relationships between these entities can be an equally complex process of deep investigation into federal, state, tax, credit and… Continue Reading

Paying for news: Why people subscribe and the future of journalism

“The future of journalism will increasingly depend on consumers paying for the news directly, as content distributors like Facebook and Google take up the lion’s share of digital advertising dollars. The Media Insight Project, a collaboration of the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, has undertaken what we believe… Continue Reading

2017 Data Breach Investigations Report

Verizon: “Welcome to the 10th anniversary of the Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR). We sincerely thank you for once again taking time to dig into our InfoSec coddiwomple that has now culminated in a decade of nefarious deeds and malicious mayhem in the security world. 2016 was an extremely tumultuous year, both in the United… Continue Reading

HBR – Should Antitrust Regulators Stop Companies from Collecting So Much Data?

Joe Kennedy, Harvard Business Review, April 17, 2017: “Innovation has always required a constant iteration of trial and error as companies use data about current performance to improve future performance. So it should come as no surprise that companies in the information age want to use ever more data to hone their products. But there is… Continue Reading

Are the discounts real – online retailers through the looking glass

The Atlantice – Will you pay more for those shoes before 7 p.m.? Would the price tag be different if you lived in the suburbs? Standard prices and simple discounts are giving way to far more exotic strategies, designed to extract every last dollar from the consumer. “…the immense data trail you leave behind whenever… Continue Reading

NYT – How Google Cashes In on the Space Right Under the Search Bar

The New York Times tracks Google’s transition From Search to Sales: “In the 17 years since Google introduced text-based advertising above search results, the company has allocated more space to ads and created new forms of them. The ad creep on Google has pushed “organic” (unpaid) search results farther down the screen, an effect even… Continue Reading

Fighting EU hate speech by blocking ad revenues

“Sleeping Giants is an organisation that calls on business to stop advertising with hate sites, in a bid to freeze their ad revenues.” [EUobserver] Continue Reading